1. Get Heart Smart
Findings of a new clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discovered that around 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in high-risk patients should they switch to a Mediterranean diet. “We observed that an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons,” reads the study.
2. Lose weight without trying
A 2016 trial released in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology discovered that people who ate a this diet lost more weight than those who stuck to a low-fat eating plan. “Our study shows that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable fats, such as olive oil and nuts, had little effect on body weight or waist circumference compared to people on a low-fat diet,” says lead author Dr Ramon Estruch from the University of Barcelona, Spain.
3. Live longer
A decade-long study of more than 4,600 healthy middle-aged women found that those who consumed the Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres. Telomeres are stretches of DNA that protect genetic codes and sit as a sort-of protective cap that prevents chromosomes from unravelling. These shorten with age. “Greater adherence to this type of diet was significantly associated with longer leukocyte telomere length, a marker of biological ageing,” the report concludes.”The results further support the benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet for promoting health and longevity.”
(Try this recipe: Freekah Salad With Roast Lamb)
4. See clearer
New evidence has uncovered that this diet can indeed reduce the risk of developing neovascular, age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD), according to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology. Across Norway, Estonia, the UK, France, Italy, Greece, and Spain, more than 5,000 people aged 65-plus had their data collected. They found that those who adhered to the Mediterranean diet had the lowest odds of developing nvAMD.
5. Maintain healthy blood pressure
A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the combination of lettuce and olive oil to work wonders in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, which is important in preventing heart disease. Unsaturated fats found in olive oil dressings consumed with nitrate-rich veggies, like as lettuce and celery, form nitro fatty acids, which inhibit an enzyme linked to high-blood pressure.
6. Increase Omega-3s
Fish and seafood provide plenty of heart-and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in this region of the world. They generally eat fish and seafood two to three times a week, while Americans eat a fish meal about once a week. What’s more, most Mediterranean cuisines include a lot of walnuts, which are the only nut that contain appreciable amounts of plant-based omega-3 fats. To boost your beneficial omega-3s, instead of beef or other red meat, try a fish or walnut dish at least twice a week.
(Try this recipe: Seafood Salad With Marigold Yogurt)
7. Still Enjoy Bread And Pasta
This style of eating is not low in carbs but the people have some of the lowest rates of obesity in the world! In fact, about 50 percent of the energy in a traditional Mediterranean diet comes from carbohydrates. The types of carbs they eat are considered high-quality carbohydrates, not low-quality carbs like sweets or baked goods. In addition to enjoying many whole grains, such as oats, bulgur and couscous, bread is a staple of the region, and pasta is the primary source of carbs in Italy.
8. Limit Your Sugar Intake Naturally
The traditional diet of the Greeks and Spaniards rarely includes candy, baked goods, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, and fried foods. The Mediterranean diet is actually low in added sugars, which is why it’s considered so beneficial for your health. For something sweet, people in the Mediterranean enjoy fruit or small quantities of homemade desserts made with natural sweeteners like honey.
9. Cut Down On Meat Consumption
Another major staple of the diet is locally caught fish. Fish like sardines and anchovies are a central part of the diet, which usually is traditionally lower in meat products than many Western diets today. While most people there aren’t vegetarians, the diet promotes only a small consumption of meats and heavier meals in favour of going for the lighter and healthier fish options across the board. This can be beneficial for those looking to lose weight and improve things such as their cholesterol.
(Try this recipe: Ham, Tomato and Halloumi Salad)
10. Enjoy More Plant-Based Foods
The main principle of eating this diet is enjoying more natural, plant-based foods, such as fruits and veggies; nuts; legumes (beans and peas); and healthy fats such as olive oil and other nut or seed oils. Start by eating five or more servings per day of produce every day and planning a meatless meal, like an Italian garden pizza, at least one night a week. Begin most meals with a salad or tomato-based soup, and end with fresh fruit or fruit-based desserts like baked apples or crumbles.
(Text by bauersyndication.com.au / Additional Reporting By Natalya Molok)